Man charged with murder for driving girlfriend to suicide
This is what is happening in Minnesota, where a man is being charged with murder for allegedly driving his partner to take her own life.
Huffington Post reports that Jessica Haban, 28, was both physically and emotionally abused for the last 10 years by her boyfriend, Long Vang, 34. He had thrown her head into a washing machine, pinned her underneath a coffee table, shattered a lamp over her head, and even caused a traumatic brain injury after punching her in the head last May. Although Vang was on court order to stay away from her after this incident, he still continued to call and text.
In December, Haban took her life and, earlier this month, Vang was arrested on murder, manslaughter and stalking charges.
Joseph Kennedy, professor of law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told Huffington Post, “In common law, courts and judges decided over time that sometimes people were so reckless, so indifferent to human life, that it was functionally equivalent to intending to kill them."
One out of every four women who are victims of domestic violence attempt suicide, according to Suicide.org.
Abusers often contribute to their partner's mental health condition. The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health reports, "Many survivors who reported that their abusive partner called them 'crazy' and did things deliberately to make them feel 'crazy,' also reported that their partners threatened to undermine their credibility with authorities and discouraged or prevented them from getting help."
When a person is a victim of domestic abuse, telling them to "Just leave" is easier said than done. When a man makes a woman feel crazy, he undermines the way she feels and even makes her feel like the abuse is all in her mind or like she somehow deserves it. It's understandable how this manipulation and this constant fear could make a person lose the will to live, like it did for Haban.
I have no doubt in my mind that, if it wasn't for Long Vang, Haban would still be alive today. Like Haban's mother told The Daily Beast — this case isn't about payback. Instead it's about strengthen laws against abusers everywhere.
Currently only a small percentage of abusers are arrested for domestic violence. I hope that Haban's life and death can help change this before even more women die because of it.
If you or someone you know is being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224. For Oakland County, Mich. residents, call 248-334-1274 or visit www.haven-oakland.org.
HAVEN is Oakland County’s only comprehensive program for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. For anyone who may be experiencing abuse, HAVEN wants you to know it's not your fault.
"Despite the confusing emotions you may be experiencing, there is one thing you can be sure of: There are people here to help you. The sooner you can get that help, the sooner you can regain control of your life."